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Letter: I will always stand for national anthem

I will always stand for national anthem

Back in the day, not quite when dinosaurs roamed the earth, but a long time ago, I played four years of professional baseball. Mostly in small towns in the southern part of the U.S. Before every game, my favorite part was standing at my position, glove in hand, hand and hat over my heart, listening to the national anthem.

Those two minutes were a chance to gather my thoughts and realize how lucky I was to be doing something I loved. I thought of the hours in the batting cage and the thousands of ground balls it took to get there. I never made the millions of dollars players make today but you could buy dinner for $2 in those days.

The entire stadium stopped and stood respectfully in those days. It was several years before I knew that the last two words of the national anthem were not “play ball.” Today, as a high school basketball official, I love it when the school does the national anthem before a game. Having a young person sing it or play it on an instrument, maybe for the first time, is a treat. I always make a point to go over and shake that young person’s hand and say thank you.

All people in our country have a chance to make something of themselves if they apply themselves and work. There are a lot of things wrong with our country and we have a ways to go to make everyone feel included, but it’s my country and I’ll always stand for that anthem. But that’s just me.

Whitey Nichols

Williamsville

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